When Zoobombs put on a good set, it’s a great band to see! Unfortunately, they’re much more popular in Canada, so they often go on Canadian tours, and don’t even come down to play shows in the States. This year, thankfully, they have set up a few shows in the States, and I wish we had had a warmer reception for them here in New York, but the reasonable sized crowd at Pianos gave them an OK reception. At one point in the show Don Matsuo, Zoobombs’ front-man, made a big point of saying how much he loved New York, and had a go at leading a sing-a-long about how great New York was. It worked pretty well, too. Zoobombs were up for everything tonight. They started off rockin’ with a nice r & b edge, then played one of their older classic songs which got a good funk thing going on. Now and then Don would pull out a box, and twist the knobs to get some screaming digital effects happening. At other times he’d get spastic on a lead, throwing his guitar around a bit, and taking their rocking into a psychedelic realm. Matta helps fill out the sound with her keyboards, her back-up vocals, and for a few songs tonight she picked up an electric guitar. The rhythm section, made up of Pit on drums, and Moostop on bass, keep the beat stomping at a good pace. At times this is a very tight band. They seem to know exactly where they are, and when Don signals they either stop things cold, or slap a song back into its groove. It’s a rockin’ band with all kinds of influences and a range that doesn’t stop. When they had played through some garage rock, some r & b, and some funk, they went on into some psych, and then out into a strange improv that seemed based on a blues riff, but evolved into what sounded surprisingly like an improvised Can song which they took out into unexplored space. This band did everything, and Don put on quite a show, getting down on his knees for a guitar solo, or coming across the stage to face Matta as he sang, once even leaning over her keyboards to at first play them himself, and then, when the rest of the band kicked in, both of them were playing keyboards on that one keyboard. I believe they were better the first time I saw them, and put on a cleaner show then, but they certainly had a good deal of enthusiasm tonight, and they were doing everything from stompin’ down a hearty beat, to stretching the sounds out into the cosmos. It was a joy to see them again.
—Paul Wheeler (former webmaster, writer and photographer of RockOfJapan.com)